My 386 laptop HD is dead. The solution: an IDE to CF adapter

Billy Pettit Billy.Pettit at
Thu Jan 25 15:29:16 CST 2007

Jim Leonard wrote:

Yep!  There are only two drawbacks to microdrives:

- Slower than real flash
- Can't use 6000+ feet above sea level (lack of air pressure can make 
the drive go wonky or, rarely, break it)
Jim Leonard


I have to strongly dispute this;  The IBM (later Hitachi) MicroDrive was
rated at 10K feet.  I did competitive testing on it and the Seagate 1" drive
and both had no problems at 10K feet.  In fact both + the WD 1" drive work
fine well past 10K feet.

Come to that, Maxtor, Miniscribe, IBM and DEC built drives in Colorado well
above 6000 feet.  Apple used to have a factory at Fountain (6400 feet).  So
this simply isn't true.  The biggest customer of the MicroDrive - Apple
iPods - work great on the ski slopes.  They also work great in Reno at 7000+
feet.  I can personally vouch for this and I'm certain others on the list
can too.

They also work fine on airplanes, which are pressurized at 8000 feet.

I have never heard of a drive breaking because of altitude.  Rarely, you get
a head gimbals or suspension problem that doesn't like 9000+ feet.  But that
is a defective drive, not the rule.

All drive vendors and many OEM buyers do extensive testing to ensure this.
And all heads are testing for flying height before being installed in a

Finally, today's drives utilize Dynamic Flying Height technology which uses
a heating element in the head to maintain constant controlled flying height.
Altitude is not a problem with any drive on the market today.


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